“Stunning in form, theme, and plot, Moran’s fifth historical novel (after Madame Tussaud) shines a spotlight on the Emperor Napoleon, the love of his life and first Empress Josephine, the family members who clamored to share his spotlight, and Marie-Louise, the Austrian princess who became his second Empress. Narrated from three different perspectives, including that of Napoleon’s infamous sister Pauline,her Haitian servant Paul, and Marie-Louise, the novel follows Napoleon from his height of fame in 1809 when he desperately tries to secure his succession by acquiring a second wife until his disastrous invasion of Russia and concluding with his return from exile in Elbaand the Battle of Waterloo.” – Library Journal
by Mary Hart Perry
“Four of the five daughters of England’s Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were regal, genteel, and everything a princess should be. But one was rebellious, scandalous, and untamed. This is her story… In the vein of Philippa Gregory, Mary Hart Perry tells the riveting story of an extraordinary woman—a princess who refused to give up on her dreams, including her right to true love.” – publisher
And a couple more intriguing titles, albeit less like Gregory’s style of historical fiction:Queen’s Lover (M)by Francine du Plessix Gray
“With her golden hair, luminous skin, and blue eyes, 19-year-old Dauphine Marie Antoinette captivates Swedish aristocrat Count Axel von Fersen at their first meeting, a masquerade ball at the Paris Opera in 1774. This encounter begins a passionate affair between the Swedish nobleman and the wife of the reclusive prince and soon-to-be king of France, Louis XVI. In this lustrous historical novel, Gray (Lovers and Tyrants) combines authentic communications with von Fersen’s own incomplete memoir and the memories of von Fersen’s adored sister, Sophie. The author has expertly re-created the world of the French royal family, depicting them in print as they once existed in life: lighthearted, calculating, and complex. VERDICT Gray’s subtle treatment of her characters allows them to come alive in this creative account of the French royal family and the French Revolution.” – Library Journal
Wallis: the shadow queen (M)
by Rebecca Dean
Maybe as much for Downton Abbey fans as for Phillipa Gregory.
“Two lovers. Two very different lives. One future together that will change history. When debutante Wallis Simpson is growing up, she devotes her teenage daydreams to one man, the future King of England,Prince Edward. But it’s Pamela Holtby, Wallis’s aristocratic best friend, who mixes within the palace circle. Wallis’s first marriage to a dashing young naval pilot is not what she dreamt of; he turns out to be a dominating bully of a man, who punishes her relentlessly. But her fated marriage does open a suprising door, to the world of Navy couriers — where navy wives are being used to transport messages around the world. This interesting turn of fate takes Wallis from the exuberant social scene in Washington to a China that is just emerging from civil war.
Edward in the meantime is busy fulfilling his royal duties — and some extra-curricular ones involving married women. Until the day, just before he ascends the throne as Edward VIII, he is introduced to a very special married woman, Wallis Simpson. Was Wallis Simpson really the monster the royal family perported her to be? Or was she an extraordinary woman who led an unimaginable life? A dramatic novel,that crosses continents and provides a unique insight into one of history’s most charismatic and multi-faceted women.” – publisher